so every thursday we go to our local library for "books & babies". it's a storytime led by a super cool and dynamic librarian that we love. and it's fairly small, so each little one gets a little attention. we had been looking forward to going to the storytime ever since mateo was in my belly and we'd try to induce labor by walking to the library, where we'd end up chatting with the librarians. and since he came 3 weeks late, we got to know them pretty well. :)
linda reads books and leads songs, all while keeping up with what the little babies are doing. she knows each one by name. mateo loves her (from afar, these days, since he's still a bit anxious). and he gets to see his best little baby friends from week to week. and i get to see their moms (and sometimes dads). afterwards, there is a little themed playtime where you never know what linda is going to bring out. sometimes its balls, sometimes trucks, sometimes puppets, sometimes hats. always fun.
one week she took pictures of all of the little ones, and now they're posted on the bathroom door at the library entrance. can you spot mateo?
while reading it, all of the uncertainty and stress and worry and fear of those days came back to me in a wave of emotion and my throat became tight. i am so glad those days are over! and that even after all of our fighting and pushing, after lots of prayer, and despite what some doctors said, we were able to wait and still have our healthy baby boy a week later.
i went on a paint-your-own-pottery date with a new friend. i took way too long deciding what to choose (great first impression, right?), but i didn't want something that just sits on a shelf, and i don't really need another coffee mug. i wanted something functional. what do i end up choosing? a butter dish.
random, i know.
so here is the before:
and the after:
it was kind of hard to clear my mind of daily clutter and make room for creativity. it's been so long since i've made any sort of art. so i just started painting with no real plan and ended up with this. it's not the most beautiful butter dish ever, but it is semi-homemade which makes me like it. :)
anyways, it was fun. really great to get to know someone new while sitting in the sun painting pottery together. and it really made me miss throwing. i am hoping we can work a ceramics class in my near future... anyone else want to join?
i am beginning to see a direct correlation in my posting here (less) to the weather in michigan (as it gets nicer). i am way behind. these photos are from a trip to snow's sugarbush, just south of lansing. we took a tour and learned about the maple process.
we went with a slow food group we just joined. we're pretty excited about it. sugarbush tours, michael pollan pot lucks, local wine tastings, and raspberry picking. so, a lot to look forward to, and a lot for us to learn!
i am no slow food expert, so here is a quote from their website: Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.
more info on the lansing convivium here . if you are not a local, you can click here to find a group near you, or just to read some interesting food-related articles.
:: is so happy to go outside that he jumps and kicks when i open the door :: :: dances (bobs his head up and down, and sways his little body back and forth) to music, or in front of his radio when he wants us to turn it on :: :: twists his tongue when he's happy ::
:: shakes his head no when he doesn't want something, when he does want something, and when he's excited :: :: claps :: :: brings me his two favorite books - both about babies - to read over and over (a peek-a-boo pop up book from his grandma s., and a soft book where a baby is carried along page to page from his grandma k.)
:: has become more of a selective eater :: :: cries when playtime is stopped and his diaper is changed :: :: occasionally gets really upset (his face begins to match his red hair) when he can't have something ::
:: seems to finally show interest in stuffed animals, particularly a little easter chick from his aunt n. that he likes to hold and kiss :: :: moos whenever he sees a black & white cow, dog, or cat :: :: loves to swing on the porch and watch the cars go by with luke :: :: still looks into my eyes and says "dada" clearly and thoughtfully each time i say "mama" ::
i know i spend a lot of time talking about babies here.
and a lot of time talking about gardening.
but today i have to share with you the ultimate combination: garden babies.
mateo and his little friends. he loves to hang out with them in the dirt surrounded by fresh air and green plants.
they have fun together, and i have fun with their mamas. sure, we plant seeds and pull weeds too, but i can't believe it's really considered volunteering. maybe that is when you know something is for you: when you enjoy it so much that it doesn't feel like work at all.
oh, and i can't forget to mention one other gardenhouse baby. she's pretty sweet too:
i bought a journal in 2005, when we moved to puerto rico. our days were generally so busy and so full that i rarely wrote in it. but somehow, when things would go wrong, when i'd have an argument with luke or something would upset me, i'd find the time to write in it. i realized after a few months that my few journal entries were almost 100% written in unhappy, angry moments. how sad, right? we laugh about this now.
more than a few people have asked me recently if our life is really so perfect, if we are always happy, things are always wonderful like they are on this blog. i'm sure if you know us in real life, you'd know that things are far from perfect. i hadn't realized that that was what this space had been projecting. but then i took a look around.
originally we made this page to keep track of our days and communicate with our friends and family. now it's become somewhat of a journal i think. it's become a place where i can post our joys and blessings and all the things i want to remember. i'm inspired to share these moments.
i could share about other moments, like today: how i spilled olive oil all over my favorite summer shirt, how the guy at the postal service said "you dummy" to me when he found out i was sending a picture frame in a padded envelope (not a box), how i almost cried when he told me a box i was sending to the UK cost $40 to send (and contained about $10 worth of stuff) and when my shaky voice said "i don't think i can send that" he had already swiped my card, how i drove home with my hand over my mouth in shock, had to tell this to luke, then how i drove back to the post office to ask again if i could have it back and get a refund but when i got there the man said it was too late- my box had just been put on a truck out of town and how i cried right there in front of him. oh, and i could also share that mateo has been throwing up everywhere, all day, and how luke and i had planned our first night out tonight and had tickets to see michael pollan, but how i decided to stay home for my sick boy who needed me.
but instead, i'd probably share with you that while staying home tonight, at the end of this very long day, that sick little boy began to dance with me for the first time ever.
our life isn't anywhere near perfection. things aren't always easy. we have so much to improve on. but we are definitely blessed with God's love. and with positive attitudes. and i think we've become pretty good at making the most of very little. i hope you know that the words and images i share here are real and honest. but also know that there is much more (good and not so good) going on than what is shared in this space.
i woke up to one of the most beautiful days of the year so far luke took the day off and made chocolate croissants and coffee and changed all the diapers we relaxed and i read a few chapters from three cups of tea i opened some generous gifts and thoughtful cards and heard a few birthday phone messages before my phone broke mateo was happy and played with the wrapping paper we went to a local greenhouse and walked around in the sun and through rows of beautiful plants we chose seeds for our garden and i picked out a basket i'd been wanting we ate giant sub sandwiches on our porch and mateo and i went to the gardenhouse to volunteer and to start my seeds with help from a friend luke surprised me and showed up with fresh hot brownies and ice cream for everyone, including a few lucky neighborhood kids who happened to be hanging out they sang and i made a wish and blew the flame out of a tea light we headed home, took a quick birthday photo, and put the little one to bed there were tulips on the table we ordered spicy thai food in what a lovely day